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How to Apply

Before you start an enquiry, please ensure you have read more about the loan you wish to apply for to ensure you are eligible.

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How to Apply

Our Loan Application Process

Unsure of where to start with Business Funding? We can help and guide you every step of the way. Our process is simple, learn how to apply and what we require as we explain the full process from initial contact to loan completion.

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Am I Eligible?

We can support the following types of legally formed and trading businesses:

  • Limited Companies
  • Partnerships including Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP’s) with 4 or more partners
  • Partnerships including Limited Liability Partnerships with 3 or fewer partners (Loans over £25,000 only)
  • Sole Trader (Loans over £25,000 only)

Our primary focus is on businesses engaged in the Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) categories.

Discover Eligible Sectors
Am I Eligible

How Long Does The Application Process Take?

On submission of your fully completed application, including all the relevant supporting documentation which meets BLS criteria, we aim to make a decision and issue you with your loan offer within 2 weeks (10 working days).

Does BLS perform a business credit & health check?

All businesses submitting loan applications to Business Loans Scotland will be “credit checked” using an external credit checking agency. Business Loans Scotland currently uses the credit checking service provided by Experian although this may change from time to time.

The business credit check will provide an assessment on the risk and rating of the business as well as detail the shareholders and directors of the business.

View Full Application Glossary

What documentation is required for my application?

All of the documents that we need to consider your loan application are uploaded into our Online Loan Application system (OLA). You should have the relevant documents prepared in digital format on your PC / laptop before you start your application. OLA will accept Word, Excel and pdf formats.

Ready to Apply?

Use our checklist before you proceed to ensure you and your business are ready to apply. This can help to avoid any unnecessary delays in processing your application.

You can also work out your monthly repayment by using our loan calculator. Our loan is offered at a fixed interest rate meaning the interest rate doesn’t fluctuate during the period of the loan. This allows you to accurately budget for future loan repayments.

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Ready to Apply

Start your Application

If you think you are ready to apply for funding and have all the relevant documents and information prepared according to our checklist, then you should proceed to submit an enquiry. One of our Loan Officers will be in touch to discuss your enquiry.

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Application Glossary & Information


Our Loan Terms

Amount
Businesses can borrow from £25,000 up to £100,000 (£250k available in exceptional circumstances). Applicants should confirm they have explored all other funding options including personal funds and borrowings, bank funding (including factoring and asset finance) and the potential for equity from venture capitalists.

Do I have to make a Contribution?
BLS normally provides up to 50% of the total funding required up to a maximum of £100,000 (£250k in exceptional circumstances). BLS would expect the other 50% to be sourced from the private sector, for example bank funding, directors / owners input, equity investment, HP etc. Please note that Invoice Discounting or Factoring is not a suitable source of matched funds.

In exceptional circumstances, the funding sought can extend to more than 50% of the total amount required. Where BLS is being asked to provide more than 50% of the funding package and where there may be a higher degree of risk associated with the project, additional information and / or security may be required.

Interest Rate
The interest rate is fixed at 6% for the term of the loan. If you are a new business (trading less than 12 months at the time of application) with a higher risk profile and / or low level of security available, a higher rate of interest may be applicable.

Additional Costs
Fee Free – no set up costs or early repayment charges.

Repayment period
Up to 5 Years.

How do I make repayments?
Payments will be collected by Direct Debit on the 7th of every month.

Capital Holiday
Up to 3 Months Capital Holiday (if appropriate and agreed).

Security
BLS will review all applications on a case by case basis and will request security based on the assessment of the lending risk.

What is the process?
If your business meets the criteria you should submit an enquiry. Thereafter, a Loan Fund Officer will contact you to discuss your requirements and if everything is in order you will be given access to our Online Loan Application (OLA) system, where you can complete an application and upload all the relevant documentation.
Your application will be appraised and a decision made by BLS. If approved you will require to sign a loan agreement and any associated security documents. The funds will then be paid directly into your business bank account.

Timescale
We aim to make a decision within 2 weeks of receipt of your completed application and all relevant documents which meets BLS criteria. If approved, funds should be available within 20 business days of receipt of application and all relevant documents.

What is the process?
Loans may be used for:

  • Funding to get your business started
  • Working capital
  • Purchase of new or used plant, machinery or equipment
  • Purchase / expansion / renovation of business property
  • Funding innovation and expansion projects
  • Expanding into new markets.

Support
You will be assigned a Loan Fund Officer to assist during the application process. You can also receive ongoing support, advice & training from Business Gateway and Local Authority Economic Development teams.

Who is providing the Loan?
The Loan is provided by Business Loans Scotland from the Scottish Growth Scheme - Business Loans Scotland Debt Finance Fund LP (SL033447) and is fully financed by the Scottish Growth Scheme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the European Structural Funds 2014 -2020 Programme.


Eligible Sectors

As a guideline, the following sectors are likely to be eligible for support:

  • Manufacturing
  • Service to manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale
  • Transport and Distribution
  • Software
  • Agriculture linked to farm diversification
  • Tourism & tourism infrastructure
  • Transport and Distribution
  • Software
  • Agriculture linked to farm diversification
  • Service based (providing they are not one of the sectors not normally eligible for support)

The following sectors are not normally eligible for support:

  • Sale of Motor Vehicles
  • Real Estate / Speculative Property Development
  • Professional Services
  • Social and Personal Services
  • Local Services
  • Cafes/Takeaways
  • Restaurants (unless they support the local tourism product)
  • Retail (unless the activities are based in isolated settlements where there is no suitable alternative provider within the area or with a specific tourism focus)

If you are unsure if your business falls into any of the foregoing categories you should contact BLS for further guidance.


Am I Ready?

  • I am a Limited Company or LLP and I want to borrow between £25,000 and £100,000 (£250k in exceptional circumstances)
  • I am a Partnership or Sole Trader and want to borrow more than £25,000
  • I have tried to source funding from the private sector but have been unable to obtain fully what I require to fund my business
  • I am able to provide and / or source at least a 50% contribution to the total cost of the proposal
  • My business does not operate in an ineligible sector
  • I have an up to date business plan which includes details of the proposal
  • I have my historical information including management accounts available (for existing businesses)
  • I have completed my projections which meets the BLS criteria and which link in with my historical information and include detailed assumptions to support these figures
  • I have all other relevant documentation

If you can answer yes to all of the above, you are ready and BLS would love to hear from you.

If you have any queries regarding the criteria and / or your business being ready to apply for a loan please email us at info@bls.scot


Documentation Required

In addition to the essential documents listed below you can upload other documents that you consider relevant to your application such as market research, customer testimonials, copies of patent applications and such like.potential for equity from venture capitalists.

Business Plan
The Business Plan should incorporate information on your proposal. You can download a Business Plan Guide here for additional information and advice.

Historical Accounts
At least 3 years full historical financials should be provided or for the period since trading began if less than 3 years.

Management Accounts
Management information should be provided for the period from the last set of annual financial statements to the time of application.

Organisation Chart
This should show the Directors, Partners and key people in the business.

Planning permission and/or building warrant
Evidence of planning permission and / or building warrant where the business plan includes this type of expenditure.

Business Bank Statement
Provision of a Business Bank Statement dated at the time of application to confirm a Business Bank account is held. This needs to evidence the bank account details.

Personal Statement Form
Personal statements are required from all key people involved in the day to day management of the business. The Statement is required to comply with anti-money laundering legislation and will allow the individual to provide confirmation of identity, address and provide a personal credit history. These have to be completed by directors, owners who own 25% or more of the business, partners that are active in a business and Trustees and other senior officials that are active in the management of a charity.

Financial Projections

  • Current year Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet projected forward to the financial year end to link the historical and projected financials information.
  • A minimum of 2 full year's annual Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet projections should be provided
  • A 2 year monthly cash flow accompanied with detailed assumptions which support these figures. These should tie in with the dates of the annual accounts and provide a continuous picture of the business finances.
  • Aged Debtors and Aged Creditors lists, to show how much is owed by your customers and how much you owe to your suppliers.
  • Full details of all existing loans and finance agreements.
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